Maple Syrup Properties

Maple Syrup Cure

Maple (botanically 'acer') is classified as follows:

  • Trunk: flowering plant (flowers visible)
  • Division: Anthophita (flowering plants)
  • Class: Angiosperm (seed inside a cavity)
  • Subclass: dicot (two cotyledons)
  • Ordering: Terebinthales (tree)
  • Family: Aceráceas (Maples)

General Information on Maple

Maples are trees and shrubs in the mountainous regions of northern hemisphere, which contain sugar in its bark, sometimes in considerable quantity beneficiable like 'Acer saccharinum' and 'a. negundo 'of North America.

From this tree there are about 125 species in the world, having about two-thirds in China and only about ten species of deciduous in the eastern part of Canada, being the highest grade components in their forests.

Some species are composed of tall trees, medium or small.
The leaves, always opposite, are usually simple and lobed. The fruits are called disámara typical, with two wings leathery or membranous and reticulate.

The samaras are fruits indehiscent (not opening) whose seed is provided with a wing-shaped membrane to spread better. These disámaras are a good source of nutrition for birds, small mammals and roe deer (deer family), which can also bind, the tender leaves and stems.

In Spain there are several species, with many varieties and subspecies, such as hybridization products:
Acer opulifolium called "acirón" in the Aragonese Pyrenees. He lives in the mountains of the subalpine region, especially in Aragon, Catalonia and provinces of the South, and also in Logroño and Navarre.

  • A. monspessulanum, called "Maple Montpellier", lobed leaves.
  • A. setting, called "azcarro" in Alava.
  • A. platanoides, large leaves and samaras with divergent and almost opposite, which is found in the Pyrenees.
  • A. pseudo-platanus, "false banana", "maple" and "Plantago" is of great leaves, cultivated in the rides and parks.
  • A. saccharinum or "maple sugar", spontaneous in North America, in addition to timber products takes advantage of the sap flow by making incisions in the trunk, for sugar.
  • A. negundo, American species of leaves composed of three to five foliolas (small leaves), widely used as a shade tree. Naturalized in Spain, is cultivated in gardens and plantations linear.

The maples require different soil types and with different altitudes, but develop much better in soils

deep, moist and rich in nutrients. Forests are valuable for its timber industry, but mainly for its maple syrup, as they call sugary juices obtained from varieties such as maple saccharinum, known in the world.

Canada has had to this tree as the emblem itself, the blade was used as coat of arms granted to Ontario and Quebec (1868) and new coats of arms of Canada (1921). Appeared in the insignia regulations during the first and second world war. In 1965 he was enshrined as official national emblem in the Canadian flag.


The maple syrup (maple syrup) is a single agricultural product. Their sugary sap was known before the arrival of European settlers. An Iroquois legend describes the drill from the bark of maple and the use of "sugar water" to cook the game, having established a culinary tradition in the kitchen of maple. The French settlers learned from the in-god's way of cutting and notching to collect maple sap and boil it for a sweet syrup or sugar tablets for better conservation. The Ojibway Indians called the time to gather the sugar, "maple moon" or "month of sugar."

World production of maple sugar is limited to a region named "Maple beli" which includes hardwood forests that cover the central-western United States, Ontario, Quebec and New England to the sea.
In the fall the sugar builds up in juice concentrates in the branches of maple, this juice is maturing during the winter and harvested in the middle ground still frozen. At the end of the spring, the days are warmer, the performance of the sap is stimulated by increasing the temperature above 0 ° C during the day and a temperature below the freezing point overnight. In the center of the tree, the positive pressure, about 1.6 atmosphere, producing a natural source of sap collected in a hole made in the cortex. The clear sap flows easily and is collected with the collection system. Normal production is 22.7 million pounds worldwide.

The United States are the main consumers, smaller quantities are exported to France and Germany. According to the standards for maple syrup, the quality of the view by color, taste and density, it is determined by the degrees Brix, ranging from 65 to 67 percent. Brix scale express a hydrometric with sugar-based solutions, indicating the percentage of dry matter in the solution. Also used Baumé scale, liquid denser than water. With these devices, called hydrometers, you can pass on his graduation from one scale to another by multiplying the number expressing the degree Brix grades Baume, by the following coefficients:

Baume O to 10: 1.74 Coefficient
      "10 to 35:" 1.80
      "35 to 45:" 1.85
      "45 to 52:" 1.90

(Maple syrup must have 32 to 34 ° Baume)
All these determinations must be made at 15 ° C.

Properties syrup or maple syrup

Maple syrup is a pure and natural sweetener. Contains a wealth of essential trace elements for a healthy diet as potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, iron, zinc, copper, tin and calcium.

Contains proportionally less sodium than other foods. The maple syrup is used in numerous commercial applications, particularly in baking, confectionery and food preparation, as a condiment.

Also used as a sugar substitute in favorite recipes, such as ice cream, crepes, vinaigrettes, cakes, candy, etc..

By Prof. Dr. Lorenzo Garcia Marco turned Baró and College of Agriculture (Technical University). Barcelona

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